DALLAS — The Chicago Blackhawks aren’t resting easy after their third Stanley Cup championship in six seasons.
The Blackhawks made their fourth trade in two weeks, this time sending forward Patrick Sharp — a key part of all three titles — and defensive prospect Stephen Johns to the Dallas Stars for veteran defenceman Trevor Daley and forward Ryan Garbutt.
It was the second major move recently by general manager Stan Bowman, who sent winger Brandon Saad to Columbus late last month after the best season of his three-year career. The sides couldn’t agree on a contract before he was set to become a restricted free agent.
This time, the Blackhawks cleared some salary cap space by sending Sharp, who is due about $10 million in the final two years of his contract, to Dallas and getting the Stars to agree to keep half of the $1.8 million on the final year of Garbutt’s deal.
"I think the primary emphasis is more of an old-fashioned hockey trade," Bowman said. "It wasn’t just trying to get space. It was also down the road. That was really the thing that we talked about when we were in discussion with Dallas, trying to get something that could help us right now."
Daley tops that list for Chicago after bolstering his reputation as a two-way player with a career-high 16 goals for the Stars last season.
Dallas is getting a veteran forward in the 33-year-old Sharp to go with a pair of high-scoring young stars in Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn, last season’s Art Ross Trophy winner as the league’s leading scorer with 87 points (35 goals, 52 assists).
"He will provide leadership for our group, and we love his shoot-first mentality," Stars general manager Jim Nill said.
Sharp had 43 points (16 goals, 27 assists) in 68 games for the Blackhawks, who beat Tampa Bay for the title in six games in June. He has 526 points in 745 regular-season games and has appeared in 129 playoff games.
"He’s been a huge part of our team, and we certainly wish him well," Bowman said. "We’re going to miss him."
The 31-year-old Daley spent the first 11 seasons of his career with the Stars. He’s set his career high in goals each of the past two seasons and also had a career-best 22 assists last season. His 756 games are second among Dallas defencemen.
"He’s certainly had an uptick with his offensive game," Bowman said. "We’ve always marveled at Trevor’s ability to skate. I think he’s going to be a great fit for the style of hockey that we play here."
The 29-year-old Garbutt had 25 points (eight goals, 17 assists) in 67 games last season and has 70 points in 198 career games.
Johns is 23 and was a second-round pick by Chicago in 2010, but he hasn’t appeared in an NHL game. He had a career-high 21 points (four goals, 17 assists) with Rockford of the American Hockey League last season.